Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Adapting to new trends in publishing and to the market is not diminishing the value of the books, but helps their survival. Borders might be a lesson learned to do not be followed. Or warning that the effects of the economic crisis on the liberal arts are just at their beginning.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I heard about Peter Mayle and his famous year in Provence one year ago, while preparing a text about travel writing. This book was considered the most read reference for this domain, but in my recent wanderings from a bookstore to another I discovered he wrote several other books about the life in this famous French province.
I've read the first book in a couple of hours and considered it a relaxed lecture for using the time while on train or in the airports: pleasant and easy style, a special style of telling stories. The book is covering each of the 12 months of the year, with details about weather, social life, personal discoveries. A good chronicle of a small village in the countryside, in the style of the old chronicles.
After discovering one of the follow-ups of the book - Toujours Provence - I am tempted to like it more. It includes exclusively short stories, in a more lively tone and with more details of the atmosphere and air of the places. A very good equilibre between the brievity of the journalistic pieces and the literary make-up.
Although coming from the English literary tradition, Mayle's books remind me a lot of the French history of the very short but witty essays from the 18-19th century. Affordable for the masses, but containing seeds of knowledge, opening the appetite for finding out more and giving an intellectual wrap to our average daily lives.